Joyful arrival

Sorry, but there is so much one can do with that name.

Maria’s sister, Joy, arrived on 23rd January after a journey that made a pilgrimage seem like a stroll to the local shops. It took three flights and 12 hours of layovers from Manchester to Mazatlan. So, rather than inflict the Pacific Ocean on her straight away, we thought it best to linger a little longer at the El Cid resort so that Joy could bask at the pool, recover from her trip, meet some of our friends, and see something of Mazatlan.

In the meantime, we secured the services of a diver to clean the hull and propeller (for a very reasonable 1 USD per foot) and negotiated a deal to clean and polish the boat. And, in an endeavour to keep our teeth in our heads over the next few years, we headed off to the local dentist for some teeth pampering.

Observatory

Our good friends sharing the same dock as us, Alan and Ruth, provided a glowing report on the Mazatlán 1873 Observatory. So, after a few frustrating hours of internetting (because it’s only possible to book one ticket at a time), Maria made reservations for 25th January.

As it turned out, the tickets were only half booked and half paid for. However, that turned out to be a bonus because, after a quick assessment of our masked faces, the ticket seller determined us to be seniors, and we received a discount.

The view from the observatory is stunning, but the aviary is the thing that grabbed our attention – particularly as the birds like to grab anything attached to your head. These birds are rescued with the aim of getting them reestablished in the wild. They are wild enough now, in my opinion.

View from the observatory

View from the observatory

Joy the pirate

Joy the pirate

Flamingos

Flamingos

Who's a cheeky boy?

Who’s a cheeky boy?

He's a cheeky boy

He’s a cheeky boy

Who can? Toucan

Who can? Toucan

Maria, Casey Jones, and Joy

Maria, Casey Jones, and Joy

Inside the observatory

Inside the observatory

After drinks at the outside bar, we headed off into town to the excellent taqueria we had previously visited with Alan and Ruth. The Taqueria Playa Sur might be basic and cheap, but the food is fabulous.

Stroll through town

Stroll through town

Escape from El Cid

How many people does it take to change a lightbulb?

Four.

Alan kindly volunteered to go up the mast to change the masthead lightbulb. So, Maria and I winched Alan up to the top of the mast while Ruth ensured health and safety. After all, we were lifting some precious cargo in the air – and I’m not talking about the lightbulb. We are very grateful to Alan for getting up there, for conducting a successful mission,  and to Ruth for her faith in our safety protocols,

And It wasn’t all sun, sangria and sightseeing for Joy either. She helped with lugging the fuel from the fuel dock to the boat so that we didn’t have to suffer any potential embarrassment caused by low water or the odd currents that terrorise the marina sometimes.

Getting out of El Cid Marina isn’t as straightforward as one would like. There’s no way we could get out at low water. And the harbourmaster suggested that high water was the way to go for a vessel of our draft. That meant delaying our departure until the morning of 28th January at sparrow fart. The disadvantage of that was not making it to our next destination in daylight. So, we decided to anchor at Stone island for a few hours before heading off to Isla Isabel – Mexico’s competitor to the Galapagos and the home of more blue-footed boobies than we ever saw in the Galapagos.

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